Sunday, June 6, 2010

A lucky bastards luck just ran out

and now Neighbor Bob has a funeral to go to.

It is a relative of his that was a member of the Lucky Bastard Club.

Back during the early dark days of WW2 the Mighty 8th Air Force was bombing France and Germany and the Germans were shooting B-17s and B-24s out of the sky constantly.

The policy of rotation was such that after 25 combat missions, aircrews were sent back to the States to train other aircrews.

With casualties so high, it was nearly a miricle that a person survived the 25 missions. Those that did became automatic members of the Lucky Bastard Club.

It was informal and the certificates were made locally, but to this day there are a number of old men that have their certificates displayed prominantly in their homes, just like a lot of sailors have their shellback certificates displayed.

Neighbor Bobs uncle was a B-17 pilot and flew 25 missions against Germany during the war and therefore is a memmber of the club. He died peacefully in his sleep 2 nights ago, which is another stroke of luck for the old flyboy.

When Bob told me that, I chuckled at the irony of it.

As a young man he survived 25 missions over Europe, came home, married, raised a family, saw great grandchildren and died peacefullly in his sleep.

I'd call that being a lucky bastard.

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